ParaSites @ Avicenne

Nuhn, Ralf and Colle, Cécile ParaSites @ Avicenne. [Show/Exhibition]

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Image (JPEG) (Avicenne building, full view)
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Image (JPEG) (Avicenne building, right pillar with parasites)
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Image (JPEG) (Avicenne building, central pillar with parasites at top)
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Image (JPEG) (Avicenne building, central piller with three parasites descended)
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Image (JPEG) (Avicenne building, left piller with single parasite)
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Abstract

ParaSites @ Avicenne is an artistic exploration of a dilapidated building in Paris, designed by architect Claude Parent. The building’s “body” was constructed from top to bottom, suspended within an impressive exterior “skeleton” of six iron pillars - a particularity which retained Cécile Colle}{Ralf Nuhn’s attention. Confronted with the impressive “dead” mass of the building, they thought about the behaviour of parasites which, most naturally, infest and profit from a vulnerable body. They devised little electronic “parasites” attaching themselves magnetically to the iron skeleton. With their electromechanical “proboscis” the parasites prodded their “host”, making the monumental architecture resonate in a subdued manner. The impacts also caused brief detachments of the parasites from the surface allowing them to slowly jitter downward along the pillars. The parasites followed the same top-to-bottom trajectory which had been conceived by the architect for the suspension of the building’s body and, in this way, reunited the conceptual strength and the structural decay of the edifice in a descending movement. This, originally, rather intuitive and (site-)specific project has given rise to numerous questions and new interests in the artists research. Importantly, they treat the term parasitism both literally and metaphorically, and are particularly inspired by Michel Serres’ philosophical writing The Parasite. Considering its different significations in French language (biological; social; static/noise), Serres uses the parasite to extrapolate ideas about human relations, society, history and communication while emphasising on its (positively) destabilising and transformative powers. With this in mind, the artists aim to explore how the polysemic notion of the parasite might be used as an integrated conceptual framework and methodological tool to feed new sculptural interventions in the built environment, and how these interventions might generate novel perspectives on multiple issues concerning our relationship with the built environment (sonic, visual, structural, historical, symbolic…).

Item Type:Show/Exhibition
Research Areas:School of Art and Design > Art & Design
ID Code:5311
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Deposited On:30 Apr 2010 13:51
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 10:02

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